BANCROFT More details have been made public regarding the purchase of the former SkyJack building in Emmetsburg by Aluma Ltd. of Bancroft. The purchase of the 105,000 square foot facility was announced Monday morning.
According to Aluma President Mike Lloyd, Aluma agreed to terms with SkyJack Manufacturing, Inc. of Guleph, Ontario, Canada, to purchase their former manufacturing facility, located on Highway Four South in Emmetsburg to facilitate expansion of Aluma's business.
"The expansion is necessary to support the production requirements of Aluma's growing network of aluminum trailer dealers, " Lloyd explained. 'This facility will provide space for warehousing, production, research and development of the enclosed trailer line."
The former SkyJack building has been vacant since the firm, which built construction man lift equipment, closed its operations in Emmetsburg nearly three years ago.
"Over the past two and a half years, our growth has exceeded our forecasts and we needed to secure additional space quickly to secure the contracts within our dealer network," Lloyd said. "This expansion will provide the capacity necessary to meet the needs of our current dealers and will allow us to pursue additional opportunities that weren't possible with our existing facility."
Currently, Aluma operates out of a facility in Bancroft, where Dean Maschoff founded the firm in 1992. The company grew rapidly from that start into a 12,000 square foot building in Bancroft in 1995. Just three years later, demand for Aluma's products prompted the doubling of the facility to its current size of 24,000 square feet.
Aluma, Ltd. builds over 60 different models and types of aluminum utility trailers for ATV, utility, motorcycle, raft, watercraft, car hauler, snowmobile and enclosed trailers along with picnic tables. Currently, the Bancroft facility manufactures 50 trailers per day.
"We were very pleased that Aluma, Ltd. has purchased the former SkyJack building in Emmetsburg to expand their trailer product line," noted Maureen Elbert, Executive Director of Kossuth/Palo Alto County Economic Development Corporation. "With the potential of creating 20-25 new jobs, this will certainly inject additional dollars into our local economy. The realtors worked very hard to get the building sold and it has truly been a pleasure to work with all of our local partners for financial incentives which included the City of Emmetsburg, Palo Alto County officials and the Palo Alto County Gaming Development Corp. Board of Directors. This is an exciting time and great opportunity for our area."
The closing date for the sale will be November 1. Once updates and preparations have been completed to the structure, plans call for the facility to be operational by spring of 2013. The enclosed trailer line will be moved from the Bancroft plant to Emmetsburg. According to Lloyd, this move should help shorten lead times on orders from 8 - 10 weeks to 5 - 6 weeks.
Aluma officials expect to add 20 to 25 new jobs over the next three years with the expansion to Emmetsburg.